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Andrews Mawuki Dzodzomenyo

posted Mar 13, 2019, 2:05 PM by Margaret Ikape   [ updated Mar 15, 2019, 2:45 PM ]

Andrews Mawuli Dzodzomenyo is a graduate of the 2017 WAISSYA postgraduate program.  He describes his participation in the program as “inevitable” because he was working for the hosting organization (Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute) at the time as a trainee radio telescope operator. This meant his time at the WAISSYA was especially busy; he coordinated the telescope observations and participated in the program activities.  Despite having a full schedule, he remembers WAISSYA as an enjoyable and exciting week.  He describes, “Working at an observatory can get lonely at times due to its isolation, so it was fun to have so many people over, especially because they were interested in astronomy”.  He appreciated that WAISSYA attracted people from different fields who were united by a shared interest in astronomy.  This helped Andrews meet people outside the small astronomy circle in Ghana and made the program more interesting.

Andrews has always had an interest in astronomy from a young age and is excited that opportunities in astronomy in Ghana have been growing since 2011.  He majored in geological engineering as an undergraduate because there were no formal courses in astronomy.  He always followed the news looking for information on scientific discoveries in the greater universe.  After undergraduate, he decided to visit a privately funded planetarium because he was “lonely with his thoughts” and “wanted to find someone to talk about the universe”.  He began to visit on a regular basis, learned about a certificate program in radio astronomy.  He took the certificate program and selected for a small cohort to be trained to operate the Ghana Radio Astronomy Telescope.  He found this position incredibly fulfilling and fascinating because he felt he was surrounded by unanswered questions about the universe and our existence. 

Since then, Andrews has traveled the world and found opportunities to stay connected to his passion in astronomy.  He volunteered in the education department at the Rajiv Ghandi Science Center in Port Louis, Mauritius.  He helped develop exhibits for Astronomy education and helped with outreach events where he assisted with sky watching events with optical telescopes at community centers in the Hinterlands.

Andrews is currently in Germany and is busy learning a new language but stays connected to Astronomy through listserves and scientific news.  He looks forward to returning to Ghana to increase knowledge and interest in astronomy, since the Square Kilometre Array is world’s most sensitive telescope in South Africa.”

For anyone considering WAISSYA, Andrews recommends and tells anyone in the postgraduate stream, expect to work hard and be pushed.  WAISSYA helped him improve his coding skills in Python, introduced him to Matlab and he gained more experience working with Linux systems. WAISSYA provides the very rare opportunity for an individual from any STEM field access to a telescope and to operate it, and he encourages applicants to take advantage.


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